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Author Topic: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace  (Read 1716 times)

Khep

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Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« on: December 23, 2011, 09:01:28 pm »
Hi.  I'm not exactly new to learning about the ancient Egyptian Goddess, Bast.  But I don't recall (and can't find now) any explanation of why She is so often depicted with a necklace (at least in her full-cat form) showing the scarab.  I wonder if it's simply an indication of her role as 'protector', since the scarab was a popular protective amulet (if I recall correctly).  Or . . . does it signify some particluar relationship with Khepri?

Hmmm . . . I just looked up Khepri, and see (according to one source, anyway) that He wasn't only seen as rolling the sun through the heavens during the day, but also eventually came to be seen as continually pushing the sun -- both through the heavens and the underworld.  Seems a bit of a coincidence, since Bast eventually (through Greek influence, as I understand it) came to be seen as a lunar, instead of solar deity.

Still - I'm wondering if a relationship between the two deities is known.


Khep
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 09:03:05 pm by Khep »
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Mata

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Re: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 10:12:28 pm »
Quote from: Khep;36220
Hi.  I'm not exactly new to learning about the ancient Egyptian Goddess, Bast.  But I don't recall (and can't find now) any explanation of why She is so often depicted with a necklace (at least in her full-cat form) showing the scarab.  I wonder if it's simply an indication of her role as 'protector', since the scarab was a popular protective amulet (if I recall correctly).  Or . . . does it signify some particluar relationship with Khepri?

Hmmm . . . I just looked up Khepri, and see (according to one source, anyway) that He wasn't only seen as rolling the sun through the heavens during the day, but also eventually came to be seen as continually pushing the sun -- both through the heavens and the underworld.  Seems a bit of a coincidence, since Bast eventually (through Greek influence, as I understand it) came to be seen as a lunar, instead of solar deity.

Still - I'm wondering if a relationship between the two deities is known.


Khep

Maybe it has something to do with her being the Eye of Ra? Just a thought.
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SatSekhem

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Re: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 11:05:35 pm »
Quote from: Khep;36220
Hi.  I'm not exactly new to learning about the ancient Egyptian Goddess, Bast.  But I don't recall (and can't find now) any explanation of why She is so often depicted with a necklace (at least in her full-cat form) showing the scarab.  I wonder if it's simply an indication of her role as 'protector', since the scarab was a popular protective amulet (if I recall correctly).  Or . . . does it signify some particluar relationship with Khepri?

Hmmm . . . I just looked up Khepri, and see (according to one source, anyway) that He wasn't only seen as rolling the sun through the heavens during the day, but also eventually came to be seen as continually pushing the sun -- both through the heavens and the underworld.  Seems a bit of a coincidence, since Bast eventually (through Greek influence, as I understand it) came to be seen as a lunar, instead of solar deity.

Still - I'm wondering if a relationship between the two deities is known.


Khep

 
Someone else was curious about this elsewhere.
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Shefyt

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Re: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 05:13:00 pm »
Quote from: Khep;36220
Hi.  I'm not exactly new to learning about the ancient Egyptian Goddess, Bast.  But I don't recall (and can't find now) any explanation of why She is so often depicted with a necklace (at least in her full-cat form) showing the scarab.  I wonder if it's simply an indication of her role as 'protector', since the scarab was a popular protective amulet (if I recall correctly).  Or . . . does it signify some particluar relationship with Khepri?

 
Hmmm...according to Wilkinson (Reading Egyptian Art), the scarab/Khepri was connected with Atum. Bast was paired with Atum at per-Bast, so there could be a connection there.

In addition to protection and the sun (and rebirth), the scarab also has a connection with the heart in the form of heart scarabs--see here and here for examples. The heart scarab was used to keep one's heart from witnessing against one during the weighing of the heart. You could probably draw a couple of connections between the heart and Bast; the heart was the seat of joy (and Bast is the Mistress of Joy) as well the pricking claws of conscience (and Bast is the Tearer who rips out the hearts of the King's enemies).

Some versions of the cat statue have the scarab on the forehead (the Gayer-Anderson cat, for instance), which is an interesting complement to the uraeus-cobra that appears on the foreheads of various deities.

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Khep

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Re: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 06:28:51 pm »
Thanks for the links, Shefyt. Good stuff.  Bast was also often paired with Ptah, and a Memphite creation myth says Ptah created the world through first dreaming it in his heart.
    I've also read that Bast is associated with the East, as is Khepri as the Dawn, whereas Sekhmet is associated with the West.  

Quote from: Shefyt;36301

In addition to protection and the sun (and rebirth), the scarab also has a connection with the heart in the form of heart scarabs--see here and here for examples. The heart scarab was used to keep one's heart from witnessing against one during the weighing of the heart. You could probably draw a couple of connections between the heart and Bast; the heart was the seat of joy (and Bast is the Mistress of Joy) as well the pricking claws of conscience (and Bast is the Tearer who rips out the hearts of the King's enemies).

Some versions of the cat statue have the scarab on the forehead (the Gayer-Anderson cat, for instance), which is an interesting complement to the uraeus-cobra that appears on the foreheads of various deities.

-Shefyt
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dragonfaerie

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Re: Bast and Her Scarab Necklace
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2011, 06:08:42 pm »
Quote from: Khep;36220

This will probably sound a bit irreverent, but we're Bast worshippers in this house and I have to believe this flip comment is coming from Her...

Because cats like to chase bugs.

Our two certainly do. Though scarabs really aren't the best sorts of bugs to agitate...

Karen
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 10:20:28 pm by SunflowerP »

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